Twitter, eBay, Airbnb, Reddit and More Officially Supporting Apple in FBI Fight [Updated]

Sixteen technology companies today teamed up to officially support Apple in its ongoing encryption dispute with the FBI, a copy of which has been shared by Apple. Twitter, Airbnb, eBay, LinkedIn, Square, Atlassian, Automattic, Cloudflare, GitHub, Kickstarter, Mapbox, Meetup, Reddit, Squarespace, Twilio, and Wickr filed an amicus brief [PDF] backing Apple's assertion that the FBI's use of the All Writs Act to force Apple to help the government unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook is both unprecedented and dangerous.

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The government's demand here, at its core, is unbound by any legal limits. It would set a dangerous precedent, in which the government could sidestep established legal procedures authorized by thorough, nuanced statutes to obtain users' data in ways not contemplated by lawmakers."

The filing, which urges the court to vacate the government's motion to compel Apple to unlock the phone, argues that handling user data in a "safe, secure, and transparent manner" that protects privacy is of the "utmost importance" to protect consumers from hackers and other wrongdoers, while also recognizing the government's "important work" in law enforcement and national security. It says the companies oppose forced backdoors, but will continue to comply with "proper and reasonable" requests for data.

Dozens of technology companies, industry trade groups, and encryption experts have been submitting documents to support Apple, all catalogued on Apple's website. AT&T, Intel, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed separate amicus briefs this morning, as did the Consumer Technology Association in partnership with the Business Software Alliance [PDF], a group that includes Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, and Autodesk.

Other amicus briefs have come from Access Now and the Wickr Foundation, ACT/The App Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a group of cryptography experts including Jonathan Zdziarski.

More amicus briefs are expected to be filed throughout the day, including one from a consortium that includes Google, Nest Labs, Facebook, WhatsApp, Evernote, Snapchat, and Mozilla.

All "Friend of the court" or amicus briefs supporting Apple are due by Thursday evening to give Sheri Pym, the judge presiding over the case, time to read through them before a court hearing. Apple is set to face off against the FBI in court on Tuesday, March 22.

Update: As expected, another consortium of technology companies that includes Google, Amazon, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, Whatsapp, and Yahoo has submitted an amicus brief in support of Apple.

Additional amicus briefs have been filed by the Center for Democracy & Technology, The Media Institute, Privacy International and Human Rights Watch, a group of 32 law professors, and a consortium including AVG Technologies, Data Foundry, Golden Frog, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, the Internet Association, and the Internet Infrastructure Coalition.

Five families of San Bernardino victims have filed in support of the FBI.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Bigsk8r Avatar
64 months ago
Even the family of a Muslim victim of the shooting in San Bernadino are siding with Apple...

(Salihin) Kondoker, whose wife, Anies, was shot three times at the holiday party where Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people, appealed personally to Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym, arguing that the decision in this case is not just about the FBI’s investigation.

“When I first learned Apple was opposing the order I was frustrated that it would be yet another roadblock,” he wrote ('https://www.apple.com/pr/pdf/Letter_from_Salihin_Kondoker.pdf'). “But as I read more about their case, I have come to understand their fight is for something much bigger than one phone. They are worried that this software the government wants them to use will be used against millions of other innocent people. I share their fear.”
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
64 months ago
Oh, and Oculus said they will support Apple in the ongoing dispute when they improve their graphics hardware.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Goldfrapp Avatar
64 months ago
I wonder if FBI will join these companies too.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JohnGrey Avatar
64 months ago

I never said anything about surrendering my rights. I would reply, but the words would be wasted.

Because the words would be hollow. There have always been men like you, born with the benefit of a free society of laws, and spineless enough to give them away rather than make difficult decisions, ready to sacrifice a good that is real and material and present even now for a potential good later. If you accept that, that's your decision, but don't you dare bloviate at me as though my intractable desire to protect the rights guaranteed each of us, even you, is somehow a mark of stupidity.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
64 months ago

This had to have been one hell of a meeting up at the Olympic Club in San Francisco!

Notice that Microsoft nor Google are on the list.

Yes they did:

Dozens of technology companies, industry trade groups, and encryption experts have been submitting documents to support Apple, all catalogued on Apple's website ('http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2016/03/03Amicus-Briefs-in-Support-of-Apple.html#labnol'). AT&T ('http://www.attpublicpolicy.com/government-policy/congress-not-the-courtsshould-decide-apple-case/'), Intel, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed separate amicus briefs this morning, as did the Consumer Technology Association in partnership with the Business Software Alliance [PDF ('http://images.apple.com/pr/pdf/BSA_The_Software_Alliance_the_Consumer_Technology_Association_the_Information_Technology_Industry_Council_and_TechNet_2.pdf')], a group that includes Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, and Autodesk.

More amicus briefs are expected to be filed throughout the day, including one from a consortium that includes Google, Nest Labs, Facebook, WhatsApp, Evernote, Snapchat, and Mozilla.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainMac Avatar
64 months ago
That is a lot of support to hide people's p*rn.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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